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Gas Retailers Want Reform

Published:Friday | January 1, 2016 | 1:00 AM
President of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, Leonard Green.

Restive gasolene retailers are calling for the Government to urgently implement tighter regulations to govern the petroleum trade amid the ongoing bad gas saga. This comes after 17 gas stations were ordered to close pumps found to have been dispensing poor-quality gasolene.

The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) is crying foul, saying that its members feel that an unfair perception is being created.

"Members are today very restive as a result of the unfair perspective that is being perpetrated by certain elements in an effort to cover their breach of public trust in the matter of contaminated fuel in the petroleum retail trade," the JGRA said in a release.

The association is insisting that its members are not responsible for the contamination of the products in the trade.

Earlier this week, JGRA President Leonard Green stated that it was unlikely that retailers could be behind the contamination as they did not mix fuel. In addition, Green explained that the branded stations are contractually bound to sell only fuel supplied by the marketing companies with which they are affiliated.

"We are contractually bound to take product from a particular distributor, and if it is found to be contaminated, then they should bear the costs that arise," Green insisted in an interview.

The JGRA says that it has made numerous calls for the Government to intervene and implement corrective measures such as regulations, a code of conduct, and a new licensing regime. It says that these efforts started more than 10 years ago and have been accelerated over the past year.

CALL FOR IMMEDIATE LAW REFORM

The association is now demanding that the Government immediately put in place a structure to start the process to amend current laws and pass proposed ones.

It also says that it wants the long-overdue code of conduct to be implemented immediately to form part of the licensing regime.

An additional measure that the JGRA wants implemented is for the Fair Trading Commission to be the authority to handle issues plaguing the sector over the years.

Late yesterday, a release from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining named the JGRA head to a committee to develop proposals for the reform of the petroleum sector.